Robin Collins
Photo provided by Robin Collins

About 90 percent of Kuna adult residents commute out of the city to work, said Robin Collins, economic development coordinator.

One of Collins’ first projects in her new role as economic development coordinator for the City of Kuna is how to provide industry jobs for Kuna residents so they don’t have to leave the city for work.

She shared this at the Jan. 4 Economic Development Committee meeting, a public meeting held the first Thursday of every month to discuss topics like commercial growth and industry development for Kuna.

Collins said with 90 percent of adults commuting out of Kuna to work, she is looking into how to bring top Idaho industries, such as health care and technology, to Kuna. Collins added she is looking into what industries people in Kuna work in and how she can bring more of those to Kuna so fewer people have to leave the city to work.

About 3,000 people commute into Kuna to work, according to Collins.

Marketing strategies, such as developing updated and industry-specific brochures, is one area Collins is working on in order to attract businesses and industries. Collins also said more retail is needed in Kuna.

Collins is also looking into available and potential commercial property for businesses and industry. As far as potential commercial property, Collins said she is reaching out to those property owners to see if they will consider selling their properties.

Partnerships that Collins is hoping to facilitate include those with the Idaho Department of Commerce for an economic development district and grants; with Idaho Department of Agriculture for rural grants and local food promotion; and Union Pacific Railroad to create an industrial park.

While bringing new business to Kuna is a main focus of an economic development coordinator, Collins said one of equal importance is to ensure existing businesses are taken care of by making sure they have the resources they need for long-term growth.

“It’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” Collins said at the meeting. “(But) it’s going to prepare us to put some info into the comprehensive plan. I’m excited about it.”

Collins, who started with the City of Kuna Dec. 11, was previously the assistant economic development director for the City of Nampa.

Collins brings 15 years of experience to her role, according to a City of Kuna press release. The experience includes four years of attracting new commerce, business retention and expansion, marketing, design, downtowns, the main street program, tourism and grants.

Kuna mayor Joe Stear, one of the committee members, said he appreciates Collins’ work so far and acknowledged that the behind-the-scenes work is time-consuming and important.

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or editor@kunamelba.com.

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